MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MIYATA 1000 GT - INTRO

FINDING THE MIYATA 1000

BUILDING THE MIYATA 1000

RIDING THE MIYATA 1000 GT

 

BICYCLES OF JAPAN

 

FINDING THE MIYATA 1000 GRAND TOURING

Yard Sailing, for vintage road bicycles, is most productive, if you ask, if the host has an old "Ten Speed", for sale.  If there are no vintage road bikes displayed, ask.  Believe it or not, a pretty good percentage of the time, a bicycle will emerge.  And that is how the Miyata 1000 Grand Touring and I got together.

The weekend Yard Sale window was just about to close, for another Saturday.  I was cruising a newer neighbourhood, one that I was pretty much unfamiliar with, while hunting for an advertised Yard Sale.  As I rounded the corner, of a crescent shaped street, a jumble of cars, marking the Yard Sale came into view.  As I approached, it was immediately obvious that this sale had lots to offer.

Many of the items, being offered for sale, were genuine antiques.  As it turned out, the man and woman, hosting the Yard Sale, were antique collectors who, at one time, had owned an antique shop in Thunder Bay.  Once they discovered how user friendly Ebay is, to people wishing to sell antiques, they closed up their walk in store, and opened a click in one.  At any rate, a quick perusal of the offered items did not reveal a bicycle, of any kind.  However, had I been in the market for an old wash board or, a big heavy thing that one puts around the neck of a plough horse, this was the place to be.

It didn't surprise me to see no "Ten Speed" being offered for sale.  Many, perhaps even most, people in my area assign little, or no, value to vintage road bicycles.  Believed to be unworthy, of just about anything, the old road bicycles are left to hang, or lean, their existence's away in some hidden place.  With that in mind, I searched out the Yard Sale host, a tall slim fellow about my age, and asked if he happened to have any old "Ten Speeds" for sale?

The fellow appeared to be a wee bit agitated, at the question, but then seemed to relax.  He said that he did have an old road bike but it was not a "Ten Speed".  Such comments usually means that the offering will be of the mountain bicycle variety.

The Yard Sale host invited me to follow him into his basement.  After passing through the foyer, down a short set of carpeted stairs, and along a paneled hallway, our short journey ended in a large room, filled with just about any kind of antique, one can imagine.  There were paintings, or prints, stacked against one wall.  Coffee tables, ottomans, book shelves and even the expected Roll Top Desk, made up part of the incredibly cluttered picture.  Two shelving units were, literally, flowing over with crystal vases and other dish stuff, that I do not know the names of.  But no bicycle...

The fellow, I was with, disappeared behind one of the two dish shelves.  That drew my attention and it was then that I got my first glance at the "Ten Speed", or what ever it was.  The pile of dishes were still impeding my view.  However, the bicycle slowly emerged and slowly is the operative word.  Slow motion might be a better way to describe how the Yard Sale host took down the Miyata.  One careless move and a mountain of crystal dishes would be instantly changed into a mountain of crystal shards.

As the Miyata came into view, I knew immediately that I had found an interesting piece.  Triple ringed cranks, caught my attention immediately.  Cantilevered brake callipers revealed their presence next and, that is the way it was, for several long seconds, as the bicycle emerged, from its twenty year hiding place.

To be honest, I knew little about Miyata bicycles, when the bike and I first met.  My collecting focus then was high end European and Canadian road bikes.  I had no idea, at the time, that the 1000 Grand Touring was border line legendary, according to a local vintage bicycle Guru.  I should add that the Guru is a truly knowledgeable individual, when it comes to old road bicycles.  But, after building hundreds of vintage road bikes myself, I had learned to recognize a high quality bicycle, fitted with high quality components, when I see one.  And the Miyata was, indeed, high quality!

NEXT - BUILDING THE MIYATA 1000 GT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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